A practicum is a good way to start shifting what you learn in the classroom to practical applications of your knowledge and skills. However, when it’s time for your practicum, it’s important that you do more than show up and go through the motions. Here are a few tips to help ensure your practicum is successful.
#1: Make connections
One of the benefits of a practicum experience is the opportunity to meet people in your desired field. By using your practicum to connect with people, you can gain insights into your career field beyond what is taught in the classroom. For many, the connections made during practicums and internships can even help get a job after graduation. When you connect with someone in the field of sports management, you can get insiders’ information about job openings.
#2: Remember that your practicum is part of your education
A lot of people view a practicum a practice for their careers. After all, your practicum puts you in the field and gives you hands-on experience in what you plan to do. And while your practicum is the last step before you start your career, it is still part of your education. By recognizing the role your practicum has in your education, you can use it to build on your knowledge and skills instead of simply practicing what you have learned.
#3: Take advantage of every opportunity
When you participate in a practicum, you’re learning in a work environment. In addition to the opportunity to network with sports managers, you have the chance to participate in activities and events that take place at the office. This can be something as simple as listening in during staff meetings or going to a department outing. In either case, you are able to see how sports managers work and interact, who else is important to their success, and what you have to do once you graduate and start your own career in the field of sports management.
#4: If you’re not doing, watch closely
A practicum is the chance to put your knowledge into practice in a supervised setting and getting guidance from instructors and those who work in the field of sports management. Many people focus on this part of the practicum, but doing is not the only thing you should do. In addition to using your skills in the practicum, you should keep your eyes open so you can continue learning by watching what others are doing. Seeing how others work in your field can show you different ways to apply your knowledge and skills and how the use of your knowledge translates from the classroom into the field.
#5: Engage in self-evaluation
In most practicum settings, you will not only be evaluated by an instructor or supervisor, but you may need to complete an assessment of the practicum. However, it’s also important to engage in self-evaluation throughout your practicum. Take a look at your experiences in the practicum and decide how effectively you are completing tasks and what areas you need to improve. Matching your self-evaluation up with the evaluation of your supervisor can help you improve more quickly and strengthen your skills before graduation.
Your practicum may be the last step before you start your career, but don’t discount its value as part of your education. By using your practicum to the fullest, you can be sure that your skills and knowledge will be everything you need to have a long, successful career in sports management.